Physiopedia Plus 2023: Celebrating the top 10 highlights

Reflecting on the past year at Physiopedia Plus (Plus), the standout element is the collective effort of our incredible team. And at the very heart of all their achievements over the year lies a common goal to create the very best experiences so that you, our members, can thrive in your professional development. Join me, Plus Education Director, in reflecting on our highlights of 2023.

Physiopedia Plus impact for rehabilitation and physiotherapy worldwide in 2023

Instead of reminiscing alone, I asked the Plus team what moments stood out to them most in 2023. In just minutes, they compiled a lengthy list of noteworthy milestones, which we thoroughly enjoyed sifting through to create our top 10. It has been a year of remarkable achievement for this small team of dedicated rehabilitation professionals and our committed course instructors. But we all agreed that the impact of 2023 extends well beyond our team and is testament to the many and valued contributions of each member and course participant in our global learning community. Everything we do is with the aim of improving the Plus offering for you!

Here I’m proud to share our top 10 highlights – from growing our quality evidence-based course portfolio to adding features to facilitate your learning and supporting international development, it has been quite a year!

1. Growing our evidence-based course offering 

Turning a course from a mere idea to a published reality involves the collaborative efforts of at least seven team members alongside the course instructor, each contributing at various phases of development. With another 179 courses published this year, we now have a grand total of 695 Plus online courses (equivalent to nearly 2500 hours of learning). Plus courses are enjoyed by over 188,000 members, and in 2023, there were 86,397 courses completed and 695,593 learning activities logged by members from every country in the world, most frequently the United States, United Kingdom, India, Australia and Canada. The 2023 Massive Open Online Course “Understanding Basic Rehabilitation Techniques Programme”, delivered in collaboration with ReLAB-HS, was our most popular course of the year, with 1350 people from 103 countries participating overall. This is unsurprising, given that participation was free for 4 weeks in September! The programme of 8 courses included topics such as assessment techniques before moving and handling, range of motion, muscle strength, muscle length and neurological screening, and positioning and transfer techniques. These seemingly straightforward topics were appreciated by late and early career professionals alike.

“Thank you, Plus, for giving us free courses; it’s hard to find substantial online courses that would shape us to be practical and goal-oriented physiotherapists. Your platform is one of the best for giving us this kind of course to help us be the best physiotherapists and be mindful and considerate of our patients. Thank you again.” – Physiotherapist, Philippines

Physiopedia's massive open online course 2023 - understanding rehabilitation techniques

2. Supplementing with live clinical webinars

‍In 2023, individuals worldwide attended 14 live interactive webinars presented by our Plus instructors. The webinars present an opportunity to engage directly with Plus instructors and to ask them questions in real time, which many of our members find an invaluable experience. However, we’re all busy and it’s sometimes difficult to join a webinar at a specific time so there are currently 28 recorded webinars available for on-demand viewing. These recordings have been viewed by Plus members 6,663 times. New live webinars are scheduled monthly, so don’t miss out on the upcoming webinars and make sure you register early to save your spot.

“I was very much pleased with the opportunity to engage in discussions and ask questions in real-time, which added a whole new dimension to my learning experience.” – Physiotherapist, Nigeria.

3. Getting Plus courses accredited to simplify your continuing education and professional development

Throughout 2023, the accreditation team dedicated considerable effort to seeking approval from additional boards and associations as a Continuing Education Provider. In some countries, this is required, and in others it’s a genuine guarantee of quality for you. Being formally accredited or approved (terms differ around the world!) nationally in the United States, Australia, and South Africa, as well as being supported by World Physiotherapy and the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics, makes Plus the most globally recognised provider of continuing education and professional development.Of note, in 2023, our approved provider status with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) marked a pivotal milestone in our commitment to delivering high-quality education to rehabilitation professionals. Accreditation or approval status of a country or state are updated regularly, you can check how this relates to you here.

Physiopedia is an approved continuing education provider of the American Occupational Therapy Association

4. Translating courses into five languages

Leveraging their linguistic expertise, our translation team have translated Plus courses into five languages, with a combined total of 1005 courses in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Ukrainian. We take pride in the artificial intelligence (AI)-supported but (crucially) manual translation that ensures professional accuracy, which is so often missing with automated translation. This key and culturally sensitive action removes barriers to access for many rehabilitation professionals around the world, empowering them to expand their knowledge base and stay up-to-date. This is particularly evident in Ukraine, where 5,800 courses have been completed, and 49,000 learning activities have been logged!

“Many thanks to everyone who participated in the translation of online Physiopedia Plus courses for Ukraine. Physiopedia courses are the modern state of rehabilitation in the world. The fact that these courses are available in Ukrainian expands the audience of Physiopedia. It allows the Ukrainian rehabilitation community to widely implement modern means of rehabilitation in conditions of limited resources. Courses from Physiopedia are a delight for a physical therapist! Thank you!!!” [Translated]

5. Collaborating to create innovative anatomy learning tools

Collaborating with Primal Pictures, we crafted 15 innovative anatomy videos. These immersive videos delve into 3D models, comprehensively covering major joints and body systems. Recently included in the Plus video library, these interactive resources complement teaching materials and guarantee students and clinicians gain a comprehensive grasp of anatomy from different angles. Utilising the anatomy videos, we developed 13 fundamental anatomy courses tailored for both students and professionals. Over 2200 participants have benefited from these courses, and multiple universities are incorporating them and their surprising facts into curricula. Notably, these courses consistently secure a spot on the top trending list on Plus, maintaining an impressive presence for a total of 80 days in just the last 6 months.

“I wish these courses had been available when I was a PT student! The anatomy review courses are well thought-out, organized, and beautiful. It was an excellent review of the basic knowledge needed for every clinician. Thank you!” – Stacy Schiurring, Physical Therapist, Texas USA

Physiopedia's anatomy courses and videos for health, medical, rehabilitation and physiotherapy students

6. Designing a new discussion forum to help you to connect

In the latter part of this year, we introduced a cutting-edge discussion forum that offers members from our global community a dynamic platform to network, connect and exchange experiences. The forum was designed around creating a user-friendly experience that enables learners to reflect upon, discuss, and share insights gained from participating in the online courses. It is also an amazing place to connect – where else can you chat with colleagues from all over the world to gain a wide understanding of rehabilitation practices in the many different contexts in which we all work?

“The community forum was a fantastic resource, fostering meaningful discussions and enabling peer-to-peer learning.” – Physiotherapist, India

7. Responding to global crises with online courses that address clinical need

In partnership with ReLAB-HS, SRSHS, and the War Trauma Project in Ukraine, 154 rehabilitation-specific courses have been developed to directly address needs identified in low-income and conflict-affected regions. The demand for these courses became evident in 2023 with a total of 19,623 of these courses completed. This substantial uptake underscores the relevance and impact of these tailored courses, highlighting their importance in meeting the specific challenges these low-resourced communities face.

8. Supporting international development through mentoring and training

This year, along with our dedicated instructors, we actively engaged in both online and in-person mentoring and training initiatives. Nick Rainey led an impactful 8-Week Comprehensive Lumbar Spine Mentorship and Training program. Lucio Nacarello took the lead in orchestrating the Implementation Science Training and Mentoring for ReLAB-HS. With ReLAB-HS and SRSHS, comprehensive hybrid training programmes were conducted across multiple locations, including Myanmar, Pakistan, Uganda, and Ukraine. In these hybrid trainings participants first complete Plus online courses and participate in in-depth discussions on the Rehabilitation Community with peers and instructors to give them a baseline in theoretical knowledge on the topic. This is followed by the opportunity to discuss further through live webinar sessions hosted by the instructors. Finally, in-person training sessions are held, where participants can interact with fellow trainees, assess volunteer patients, and receive feedback from international mentors. These hybrid sessions have proved to be hugely successful providing clinically relevant training that will improve patient care.

Delivering in-person training in Myanmar to physiotherapists on stroke

9. Providing equitable access to education by donating Plus accounts

Thanks to the generous support from each paying Plus member and the collaboration with ReLAB-HS, Plus has provided 10,030 free accounts to individuals in low- and middle-income countries in 2023. This brings the total number of free accounts to a whopping 22,279. This initiative is crucial in fostering learning and making quality education easily accessible to every rehabilitation professional, which is at the heart of our mission. Organisations meeting the specified criteria receive complimentary access for all their members. One notable example is the Physiotherapy Association in Yemen, where members benefit from learning through Plus online courses before consolidating their knowledge and skills with related in-person training events. Whether you’re already involved or have the potential to contribute to this educational initiative, your participation as a Plus members is instrumental in improving access to education worldwide.

“I am most thankful to be privileged to participate in this fantastic course. Please accept my sincere gratitude to the organizers and sponsors for making this a free course for us, the young ones in the profession.” – Speech Therapist, Uganda

10. Connecting with our community all over the globe

All of the Plus team agreed that a significant highlight of this year revolved around the invaluable opportunities to connect with colleagues, Plus members, and passionate Physiopedia enthusiasts from various corners of the globe during professional meetings. At the World Physiotherapy Congress 2023 in Dubai, the Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) Conference in Round Rock, TX, and the 2023 ISPO Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, individuals shared firsthand accounts of how they use Physiopedia Plus for their personal learning journeys, teaching endeavours, and organisational development. The face-to-face interactions provided a unique space to delve into these fascinating success stories and connect with international organisations we collaborate with worldwide. We look forward to meeting you at more of these opportunities in the future, where we can continue sharing insights, learning from one another, and strengthening the bonds within our global community.

In a year dominated by discussions about AI, it’s worth highlighting that all our courses and resources are crafted and translated by real humans who work in tandem with AI technology. This unique collaboration ensures a thoughtful and dynamic learning experience that seamlessly combines the efficiency of AI with the expertise and creativity of a dedicated human team. We believe in the power of human intelligence augmented by technology, making Plus a standout choice in the ever-evolving landscape of online education. We take pride in our human touch!

Your active role in this journey has shaped the collective success we celebrate today. As we express our gratitude, we want to recognise the meaningful impact your engagement has had on the shared experiences and learning within Plus. Thank you for being an integral part of our thriving community. Here’s to another year of continued growth, collaboration, and success for us all!

Don’t miss the Year in Review from Physiopedia Content Manager Kim Jackson to read about innovation, growth and global impact on the Physiopedia team this year.